On This Day, Feb. 13: Bombing of Dresden, Germany, sparks firestorm

Feb. 13 (UPI) — On this date in history:

In 1668, Portugal was recognized as an independent nation by Spain.

In 1861, the first Medal of Honor was awarded. It went to Col. Bernard Irwin, an assistant surgeon serving in the first major U.S. Army-Apache conflict.

In 1935, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was convicted of America’s most colossal crime, and a jury determined that he would forfeit his life in the electric chair for the murder of baby Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr.

File Photo by Library of Congress/UPI

In 1945, thousands of Allied planes started bombing the German city of Dresden in World War II. The attack caused a firestorm that destroyed the city over a three-day period. Reports of the death toll varied widely over the years, with many researchers eventually estimating it was in the 25,000 range.

In 1960, France tested its first atomic weapon, making it the fourth nuclear power.

In 1974, the Soviet Union expelled dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

In 1983, a blaze engulfed a crowded movie theater in Turin, Italy, killing 74 people, many of them teenagers trampled to death in a panic-stricken race to the exits.

In 1984, Konstantin Chernenko succeeded the late Yuri Andropov as Soviet leader.

UPI File Photo

In 2001, more than 400 people were killed in an earthquake in El Salvador.

In 2006, a U.N. report accused the United States of violating prisoners’ rights at its military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In 2014, the Afghan government, despite protests from the U.S. military, released 65 suspected members of the Taliban from prison.

In 2017, national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about discussions he had with Russia’s ambassador. The retired general held the position for 24 days.

In 2018, Israeli police recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted in two corruption cases on accusations he accepted bribes and illicit gifts.

File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI

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